Passionately pink for the cure

Owen Campbell, Staff Writer

The week leading up to Jan. 12 was flooded with pink in anticipation for the women’s basketball program’s tenth annual Think Pink game, honoring former Director of Athletics Mike Lafferty’s wife.

Coordinated by women’s basketball, cheerleading and Student Government, all proceeds surrounding the game are donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation to benefit breast cancer patients. Through game ticket sales, t-shirt sales and personal donations, the team raised $1,300.

The idea, originated by junior varsity head coach Lori Ryan, was established 10 years ago, inspired by Mrs. Lafferty’s diagnosis. Through those 10 seasons the team has raised and donated a total of $22,000.
According to head coach Jessica Szymanski, the game is played in honor of everyone who has been afflicted by breast cancer.

“I know a lot people that are no longer here, and I know a few people that have been survivors,” Szymanski said. “When you see someone go through cancer treatment it’s really not fun. The most we can do is try and raise money, and I always tell my team it’s bigger than basketball.”

Because of the meaning behind the event, the team traditionally courts larger crowds for this game than any other throughout their season.

“This game usually has the biggest turn out for all of our games, it is very fun to play in and has the most energy,” junior guard Mae Dickens said.

Energized by the overwhelming crowd, both JV and varsity won by substantial outcomes, 47-17 and 41-31, respectively.

“It’s always fun and exciting to see people cheering you on and encouraging you,” senior captain Lydia Naughton said.

In the future, Szymanski hopes to see this philanthropic event continue to be successful, and other programs latch on to the idea of supporting a personal cause.

“I think if all the programs supported different charities, it would be very cool for every athletic team to do a game in honor of [their cause],” Szymanski said.